Mercer Principal Norma Sharara — who works closely with the ABA Retirement Funds Program, an ALA VIP sponsor — describes the current tax and regulatory picture for retirement plans.
Norma Sharara is a Principal in Mercer’s Washington Resource Group, focusing on tax-qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, including ERISA fiduciary rules, state-run retirement initiatives and federal retirement policy. Sharara has more than 25 years of experience with retirement plan issues. Before joining Mercer in 2015, she practiced law in Washington, D.C., and has been a frequent speaker and author on retirement plan topics.
The ABA Retirement Funds Program has been supplying retirement plans exclusively to the legal community for over 50 years. Mercer Trust Company is the ABA Retirement Funds Program’s investment fiduciary, investment manager, and trustee and custodian. Mercer has responsibility for development of the investment policy for the program, subject to acceptance by the ABA Retirement Funds; for implementation of the policy; and for monitoring of the platform of fund investments.
As law firms continue to grow and merge, the question of office space and configuration is critical to legal management professionals tasked with operations. That's why First American Equipment Finance's Karen Leastman and Christina Floyd have joined us to talk about financing office renovations. You can hear them in full at their 2018 Annual Conference & Expo presentation.
Christina Floyd is the Vice President of First American Legal Finance and is a Certified Lease and Finance Professional (CLFP). She has almost a decade of equipment leasing knowledge and dedicated experience working with the legal industry. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications and an MBA from St. John Fisher College. Additionally, Floyd successfully completed the Legal Management Finance Specialist Certificate Program through ALA.
Inher tenure, Floyd has been instrumental in growing First American's legal business to more than 200 firms.
Karen Leastman is the Vice President of First American Equipment Finance and has more than a decade of equipment-leasing knowledge and dedicated experience working with the law firm industry. Since joining First American in 2003, Leastman has been a key contributor in building First American's law firm division, which now serves more than 200 law firms across the United States, including AmLaw 100 and 200 firms. As a Certified Lease and Finance Professional (CLFP), she's a leader in the equipment leasing industry.
Michael Moore, a speaker at ALA's 2018 Annual Conference & Expo, talks with us about law-firm succession planning.
Michael Moore, JD, is the Founder of Moore's Law, LLC, and helps both lawyers and law firms create professional success. Moore specializes in individual marketing, client development, and leadership coaching and advises law firms on strategic planning, growth initiatives and resource optimization. A frequent speaker at ALA events across the country, his current topics have included mentoring, leadership, financial management and strategic planning.
Corey Saban, a 2018 Annual Conference speaker, answers some of our questions about the promotional and engagement powers of web video.
Corey Saban is a Cofounder and Vice President of TheLaw.TV, a platform that helps lawyers effectively reach prospective clients and communicate their stories through video. He started his media career as a TV journalist, interviewing respectable and recognizable figures and scoring Emmy nominations and AP Awards along the way. An accomplished speaker and 15-year news veteran, Saban is now on the other side of the industry, consulting for law firms on media and content strategies.
Get the answers to your questions about background screening in today's law firm - domestically and internationally.
Kevin P. Prendergast is the President & General Counsel at Research Associates, Inc., a corporate investigative firm serving clients since 1953. RAI serves the investigative needs for professional service firms and works with law firms throughout the world for pre-employment background investigations, due diligence in transactional work and litigation support investigations.
Kevin oversees the compliance program at RAI and works with clients and their counsel in developing legally compliant background screening programs. Mr. Prendergast graduated from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law and has been licensed to practice law in Ohio since 1987. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association and the Society for Human Resource Management.
Eric Wangler is president of the North American business unit for BigHand. With over 15 years of experience in the legal industry, Eric previously served as vice president of Ricoh’s legal vertical segment. Since joining BigHand, Eric has grown the North American business and the BigHand customer base significantly. In addition, Eric led the acquisition of Esquire Innovations (Now BigHand Office) in Temecula, California, a leading provider of Microsoft Office integrated practice management software, services and applications for the legal market. The acquisition has enabled BigHand to broaden its suite of product offerings and continue its mission of providing innovative workflow efficiency software that streamlines processes and empowers attorneys and law firm support staff to deliver their best work wherever and whenever needed.
Check out Eric's article in the upcoming April issue of Legal Management magazine, at legalmanagement.org.
Ginger Brennan is here with us today to talk about how to administer your firm’s retirement plan in a changing environment. She will also be a speaker on this topic at ALA's Annual Conference & Expo, April 2-5 in Denver, Colorado.
Ginger Brennan, FINRA Series 6, 7, 24, 26, 63, and Certified Employee Benefits Specialist, is the Senior Vice President and National Director of Sales for the ABA Retirement Funds Program. Brennan is responsible for setting and driving the sales strategy for the program and oversees all of the sales efforts and training for the entire program sales team across the United States. A veteran to retirement plan sales, Brennan brings more than 30 years of experience in sales and sales management.
Marc Adler is the Vice President of Sales for PerfectLaw Software, a developer of billing, accounting, financial and case, calendar and document management software for the mid to large size legal industry. He is also a committed member of the ALA Business Partner Relations Committee as well as the LegalTech Advisory board. After a few years of managing implementations for some of the leading law firms in the country, Marc moved into sales at PerfectLaw and has worked the last 20 years bringing the leading All-in-One solution to the legal community at more than 200 ALA events over the years.
Marc be available to chat in ALA's Exhibit Hall the Annual Conference & Expo in Denver, Colorado, coming up April 2-5. Stop by to say hello!
Today our guest is John Gilbert, senior vice president at nQueue and a recent contributor to ALA’s Legal Management magazine. His feature in the November/December issue was titled “The Paper Pyramid Scheme” and offered some surprising insights into how off-site storage can end up eating a major chunk of a firm’s budget. Learn more from John Gilbert in April at ALA’s Annual Conference & Expo in Denver, Colorado. www.alanet.org/conf17
John Gilbert is the Senior Vice President of nQueue and has more than 30 years of experience in selling to and supporting law firms throughout the United States. Gilbert helped pioneer the methodology used to customize Microsoft Word for the legal environment — including the awareness and removal of metadata in documents — and has been published in Law Technology News, Peer to Peer, Legal Management and National Law Journal.
Joining us on our podcast today is Link Christin, an expert on the particular struggles among attorneys regarding substance abuse. Today he’s speaking with us about the ethics and liability concerns surrounding this topic. Hear more from Christin at ALA's Annual Conference & Expo, April 2-5 in Denver, Colorado: alanet.org/conf17
Link Christin is the Executive Director of the Legal Professionals Program at Caron Treatment Centers. He is the former Chief Executive Officer of Heightened Performance LLC, a behavioral health consulting firm. After decades of practice as an attorney followed by a second career of treating impaired attorneys in a residential setting, he founded Heightened Performance in order to bring his experience to the law firm and lawyer, the corporation and the law school. Prior to creating Heightened Performance, he founded and directed the Hazelden Legal Professionals Program, the first track of its kind at a major treatment center.
Today our guest is Al Marcella, here to discuss risk management and cybersecurity in the context of legal management. Al will be in Denver, Colorado, this April to speak at ALA’s Annual Conference & Expo.
Al Marcella is an internationally recognized public speaker, researcher, workshop and seminar leader with 36 years of experience in IT audit, security and assessing internal controls. He's authored numerous articles and 28 books on cyber extortion, workplace violence, personal privacy, electronic stored information (ESI), privacy risks in multifunctional devices (MFDs), cyber forensics, disaster and incident management planning, ethics and more.
Joining us today is Kristen Brown, speaker and founder of Happy Hour Effect. Her goal is to motivate audiences to strive for maximum impact in their work and personal lives by uncovering the unique characteristics that make them memorable and magnetic. Hear more from Kristen at ALA's Annual Conference & Expo in Denver, Colorado.
Kristen Brown is an international keynote speaker and facilitator who motivates audiences to strive for maximum impact in their work and personal lives by uncovering the unique characteristics that make you memorable and magnetic. She spent 15 years in sales and marketing leadership roles before starting her own award-winning company and Happy Hour Effect movement. She has worked with Fortune 500 teams across industries to drive sales and market share including companies like Target, Kraft, Bare Minerals, Cargill, Regis, Walmart, Mayo Health, and more.
Ritu Bhasin explains how a more diverse workplace thrives on authenticity -- embracing differences -- versus minimization -- ignoring and/or stifling them.
Ritu Bhasin, LLB., MBA, is the Founder and Principal of BCI. Recognized globally for her diversity and leadership expertise, she has received a number of awards and distinctions for her work. She has extensive experience in delivering programming, consulting, and coaching across a range of management areas with a focus on leadership development, diversity and inclusion, and the advancement of women. Bhasin works primarily with senior leadership teams, boards of directors, middle management, and emerging leader groups, including women and diverse professionals.
Paula Davis-Laack is a stress and resilience expert who will be speaking at ALA’s upcoming Large Firm Principal Administrators Retreat about “Building Resilient Lawyers and Leaders.”
Paula Davis-Laack, JD, MAPP, is a former practicing lawyer, an internationally-published writer, speaker, media contributor, and a stress and resilience expert who has taught burnout prevention and resilience workshops for thousands of professionals around the world. Her articles on stress, burnout prevention, resilience, and thriving at work are prominently featured on her blogs in The Huffington Post, Forbes, Fast Company and Psychology Today. She also writes a regular column called "On Balance" for Wisconsin Lawyer magazine. Her latest e-book is titled Addicted to Busy: Your Blueprint for Burnout Prevention, available here. Her expertise has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including the Lawyerist, Law360.com, various ABA webinars, and the Women's Law Journal. She is the Founder and CEO of the Stress & Resilience Institute, a training and consulting firm devoted to helping companies and busy professionals build their resilience to stress. She is also a partner in Lawyer Strong, LLC, which provides resilience training to law firms.
Bill Mech discusses an ongoing project with ALA to help change the way we talk about legal management. Members should look for more information about the ALA UPBMS Taxonomy in the coming weeks!
William (Bill) Mech is currently the Executive Director with Cunningham Meyer & Vedrine, PC. He also serves as a Legal Consultant for the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) and has his own business called ofPartner Consulting Services. Mech is an accomplished Management Executive with a proven record of success improving operations and controlling costs in legal service organizations.
Have you ever had a question about diversity and inclusion, but didn’t know who to ask or how? Sarah Babineau, managing partner at Compass Metrics, LLC, offers a slew of practical tips on disability etiquette and inclusion in this episode.
Sarah Babineau, MHR, PHR, SHRM-CP, is the Founder and Managing Partner of Compass Metrics, LLC, a woman-owned, disability-owned business enterprise. The consultancy focuses on law and professional services firm diversity analytics, disability inclusion programs and affirmative action planning. Babineau also provides expert witness testimony in matters related to the employment of people with disabilities.
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Jobst Elster joins the podcast to talk about his new column in Legal Management magazine, on cloud technology and cyber security. "The cloud is a bit like social media in legal — no matter how hard we try to ignore it and dismiss its viability, it just won’t go away."
Jobst Elster is InsideLegal’s Head of Content and Legal Market Strategy. He has served as a legal market strategist for the last 17 years, advising companies entering the legal market, involved in mergers and acquisitions, and expanding strategic operations overseas. Elster regularly writes and speaks on legal technology, market research and leveraging market data, technology innovations and futures, legal marketing and big data.
Catherine Alman MacDonagh, JD, is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Legal Lean Sigma Institute LLC. She is a former corporate counsel and law firm executive who now teaches and provides training and consulting services in process improvement and project management, strategic planning, marketing and business development. A Lean Sigma® Black Belt and certified Six Sigma Green Belt, MacDonagh is an adjunct professor at Suffolk Law School and George Washington University’s Masters in Law Firm Management. She is Chief Enthusiasm Officer of The Mocktail and The Legal MocktailTM and the author of Lean and Six Sigma in Law Firms.
Ari Kaplan joins the podcast to discuss his upcoming Annual Conference & Expo session, "Recovery, Renewal and Reinvention: Navigating the Next Decade."
Ari Kaplan is the author of The Opportunity Maker and Reinventing Professional Services. After nearly nine years practicing with large law firms in New York City, Kaplan – named to the inaugural Fastcase 50 – has become a leading legal industry analyst. In addition to keynoting events in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, he has had the privilege of addressing administrators in 12 ALA chapters and at the Law Firm Financial Management Conference. He is also the founder of Lawcountability®.
Catch Jill and Sally's sesson at ALA's Annual Conference & Expo, titled "Fast Forward: Driving Top-Line Revenue for Your Law Firm." Learn more at www.alanet.org/conf.
Jill Weber is Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer for Stinson Leonard Street, where she created Fast Forward®, a nationally recognized revenue program. Weber appears on the National Law Journal's "50 Business of Law Trailblazers & Pioneers" and was recognized as an "Unsung Legal Hero" by Minnesota Lawyer. She has received 22 local and national Legal Marketing Association (LMA) "Your Honor" awards. She currently serves on the LMA Board of Directors, and attended Harvard Law School's "Leadership in Law Firms" executive education program.
Sally Schmidt is President of Schmidt Marketing, Inc. in Edina, MN, which offers marketing services to law firms. She was a founder and the first President of the Legal Marketing Association (LMA). In 1994, she was inducted as a Fellow into the inaugural class of the College of Law Practice Management. Schmidt was also inducted into the LMA first Hall of Fame in 2007 and is the recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award.